Zotero – A Wonderful Tool With a Funny Name!

zotero_logoEvery once and a while, I come across a tool which is so useful to me that I feel the need to share it with you.  Zotero is one of those tools!  If you been keeping up with my writing here on Dad in the Middle, over at Kidmin1124.com or on Ministry-to-Children.com, you’ve probably picked up on a couple of things:

  1. I’ve been on “hiatus” for almost six months now which hasn’t kept me from writing the occasional aritcle; and
  2. I’ve been writing a lot recently about Children of Divorce.

I won’t go into all the details, again, of my research into Children of Divorce but needless to say I have spent hours and hours online searching out articles and authoritative literature.  Last week, I decided I need to find a way to organize it and produce a bibliography.  I was lucky enough to find Zotero.  The Zotero website describes the program as:

…a free, easy-to-use tool to help youcollect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

That’s right, Zotero integrates directly into Firefox.  You simply click a button and enter any information you want to keep track of related to citing the document and your set.  Zotero offers templates for all kinds of documents including:

  • Audio Recording
  • Blog Post
  • Book
  • Case
  • Conference Paper
  • Dictionary Entry
  • Document
  • E-mail
  • Encyclopedia Article
  • Forum Post
  • Instant Message
  • Interview
  • Journal Articles
  • Letter
  • Manuscript
  • Magazine Articles
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Patent
  • Podcast
  • Presentation
  • Radio Broadcast
  • Report
  • Statute
  • Thesis
  • Video Recording
  • Webpage
  • And more….

You can generate a complete bibliography, cite individual resources (with the word processor plugin), keep a copy of pdf files or snapshots of webpages with the associated reference, sync your references so that you can use Zotero on multiple computers, create different libraries, and so much more.  I’ve only been using it for seven days now, but I’ve got over 300 articles indexed and streamlines my research process as I go forward.

Zotero is fully searchable and can also be used to keep track of web pages and notes you want for future reference.  I am just scratching the surface, but I think the possibilities are endless.

Zotero integrates seamlessly into Firefox.  There is also a stand alone version which works with Google Chrome or Safari.  A plug in for Internet Explorer is also in the works.  The Zotero homepage includes fairly comprehensive documentation and support forums.  All that is pretty amazing for a free resource!


  1. Thanks for the shout out and the Support!

    Zotero Community Lead

    • Thank you for a great product. I’m at like something over 450 resources now indexed in a little over a week. It has made my research that much more organized and easy to keep track of!